Ingrid, Open Door Yoga teacher, describes her beautiful drum circle experience at the Open Door Yoga social this week

“Oh My God Ohm Higher Intelligence, oh,Universe, oh Prana, oh Qi! Oh Yes, Ohm Guna = Mother Drumbeat…!” or whatever is the intelligence of your heart you might want to address here – I just want to say that I was completely resurrected in body heart and mind after the most stunning drum-class we had with Sandi yesterday – sending out a huge Thank You to Sandi and to Open Door and the planners of this Social for having us enjoy this most life-giving and educational community event yesterday – it was not only inspiring for body and soul, but also a milestone for me to pick up my drum again and and even try to enroll in one of Sandi’s classes in the future, for she is truly a bright light, and,when she teaches one cannot but catch the flame of inspirational fire which runs through her beat, her singing voice and instructional details – which were so comprehensive dynamically packaged into so little time that I now feel ready to take those drum bits into the next drum circle, or even take my drum back to the bench by the beach and try to get the rhythm into “the dance of the hands”(Sandi). Thanks again for this session which ignited my soul, touched my heart and had every cell of my body tingle at the end.

thanks for inspired teaching!
thanks for co-drummers!
thanks for the circle!
thanks for life!

Peace and Snow-capped-Mountain-Sunday – is there a pose as such?

Ingrid

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Wendy Sexsmith, Artist Of The Open Door Yoga Murals Talks To Maya Lee

“My point is we have a lot of potential for intuitive intelligence and its depressing to our system to not engage with that, because it’s something that should be nurtured a little bit more in us but for some reason we don’t seem to think that is important. But it’s the place where harmony is created. It takes away from the idea that abundance is limited. The idea that if someone shines it means someone else is less shiny, the whole thinking of competition for resources, all the good stuff, when in fact it doesn’t have to be that way.” (Wendy Sexsmith)

Wendy Sexsmith painted the warm, fun, laughing buddha mural inside the Commercial Drive location of Open Door Yoga, and has been painting a beautiful outside mural at the same studio. I came to sit on the scaffolding with Wendy as she painted to chat to her and ask questions that many may have wondered as they’ve passed by Wendy in and out of yoga classes.

Maya: Where does your experience as a painter derive from, what kind of educational background do you have as an artist?


Wendy:
I learned to paint at Emily Carr where I did an Arts Degree. I began with drawing and began to paint in the second and third year. But I’ve been painting since I was born it feels. When I was young I use to make Christmas cards and get really enthusiastic. And when I would get upset I’d go into my room and draw. I took a political science degree, out of high school. It didn’t occur to me that art was an option. Nobody was really artistic in my family, and I got pressure to do the ‘right thing’. I knew something was wrong when I graduated. I was so depressed and I knew I’d never be able to do a 9-5, I had to get the hell out and find myself in Asia for four years. I started to relax, because I had a pretty intense life, and I started drawing on my own. It was more like a way to relax, kind of meditative I guess, and that’s how I got into it. I came back and within two or three months I was going to every life drawing class I could get to and it really took off. I had a passion and a natural talent for it. I had sort of figured that I was definitely not going to fit into the mould, as there was something terribly wrong with that. Then I went to Japan and thought well it’s all about the money, you have got to be independent in this world. So I tried to make as much money as possible, and I did. But I wanted to find something that was intrinsically valuable to me, not to do with money, something to fall back on of value to me. Within a year I was in Emily Carr, and for me it was like going to play school. It was awesome, I couldn’t believe my luck. What a fun thing to do at school! I was into everything, even the academic side too. A friend of mine, Justin and I would be at school every night until it closed. It was just pure love.

Maya: You talked a little previously about being drawn to using traditional iconography, and because of other businesses that share the outside space, such as the outreach medical centre, you didn’t feel free to do this. What kind of traditional iconography did you feel yourself drawn to using, and. are there similarities in the mural that you can see connect with this traditional iconography?

Wendy: I liked the idea of drawing a lot of buddhas and Ganeshas actually. Some of the teachers wanted a big Ganesha in the middle of the lotus, and I thought lets wait and ask permission a little later on during the painting. It would be nice to do something from the lotus, a dancing buddha, a tiger, a Ganesha, would all be nice. At first people from other businesses who share the car park were saying “how long are you going to be in the way”. They were sort of concerned that my painting of the mural was displacing people. But now everybody is all smiles and very kind. Something changed, I don’t know what happened. At first it was kind of a displacement but I think people like the change so they are a lot warmer now. People aren’t even parking in the parking lot near me anymore, I use to feel like I was getting totally boxed in, but now it’s like they’re making space for me.

Maya: You were saying that you started by roughly mapping out the space but it wasn’t too far into the drawing that it began to take on a life of its own. What was going on for you when you felt this transition, from careful planning and then feeling inspiration taking over?

Wendy: I sketched the painting out and it looked like an empty skeleton, and I thought “wow I’m going to need to make it a little bit more substantial…” It didn’t have a lot of stature, the lines were so thin. It’s kind of exciting when that happens because when I get to that place I have to let it happen organically. I had to just think about the lines, which part to make dark and fill in, the combination of thick and thin lines, how to make it look substantial and still interesting without having a formula. Because formula can make things quite static, so without a formula the work becomes more intuitive and it’s more enjoyable that way. I did the inside of the lotus at the top, and it’s probably been six different colours. I kept coming back and changing it, The colour it is now is the colour it will stay. It was so important to get the right colour. Sometimes it just happens, like the butterfly. That just started taking on its own life, with the wings and stuff. I started making it into a pattern as opposed to following a pre-sketched idea. That was the first day. While underneath I had a totally different drawing I could see these little swans coming out the side that weren’t in the original drawing at all. I was hoping no one would come up with a blueprint and say this is not what the drawing was, but it I knew it was better and would work out.

Maya: Could you talk a little about your choice to create quite different pieces of work for the inside mural and the outside mural.

Wendy: The inside was a no brainer, because I kind of approached the studio and showed some of my work, which was a lot of buddhas. So it was easier in a sense, and it didn’t take much to think it’s going to be happy buddhas, because it is a happy atmosphere. I didn’t want to make it too pretentious. I wanted it to be about the spirit of the studio. Even people who aren’t Buddhists have buddhas for good luck, so it was more of a happy good luck symbol. So because of the name Open Door I thought I’ll but them indoors and spread them out like a sequence. One time while I was painting the laughing buddhas during a class I kept hearing all this laughter in side and I thought that was kind of funny, cute.

Maya: You have said that when you are dealing with spatial relationships and making creative choices that because you are working mainly from the right side of the brain it is really meditative for you, as is yoga, especially when you find yourself really focusing to make your body do something that you haven’t considered possible before. And you were saying that you feel that like everyone you can daydream a lot while you are doing yoga and painting, but with the difference being that when you are painting your thoughts are almost exclusively positive which is not always the case when you are doing yoga. Could you talk a little about negative thoughts that come up in your yoga practice, how you address them, and some bliss you have experienced in your yoga practice.

Wendy: As soon as I notice negativity during my practice I address it. I realize I am increasing anxiety and I just stop. Sometimes it takes a while until I realize it’s happening, then all of a sudden I realize what I am doing and I change it. But when I’m in painting I’m in lala land. When you’re creative its one of those things, it’s just blissful. There is something about the process that means your mind is more occupied with the task, your mind is more engaged and it becomes more blissful. I absolutely love yoga, but when I’m painting I’m not aware of my body, you transcend your body altogether. It sounds romanticized but from when I was young painting has always been a way to bring back a blissful and more serene place. There is usually a language we are stuck in all the time and even in yoga instructions there is a language, but with creativity there is not the same kind of language involved. There is less programming. Something intuitive not loaded with baggage that we have acquired, a different kind of language of art takes over instead.

I think we have a lot of information. We have a lot of people who have incredible healing powers. Recently I met someone who can intuitively get knowledge from plants, not like they are having a conversation with him, but he does pick up something. Not language, but there is something intuitively he understands. My point is we have a lot of potential for intuitive intelligence and its depressing to our system to not engage with that, because it’s something that should be nurtured a little bit more in us but for some reason we don’t seem to think that is important. But it’s the place where harmony is created. It takes away from the idea that abundance is limited. The idea that if someone shines it means someone else is less shiny, the whole thinking of competition for resources, all the good stuff, when in fact it doesn’t have to be that way.

Maya: Do you find there is a specific message as a person with the life that you have lived, that you find yourself conveying through your art?

Wendy: If there is anything id like to convey it would be something about joy. I do a lot of different kinds of art but one thing that is the same is that I like to celebrate things and to convey joy or celebration, something positive. And sometimes its really humorous or cheeky and sometimes more serene. I feel that there is no time to not celebrate. I’m not really interested so much in making a critique about life through my painting, unless there is hopefulness in it. I feel that I would rather connect with a common higher sense that is like a more profound connection between people that is based on joy, celebration and abundance, as opposed to a criticism of how we are not doing things properly. People don’t’ get enough courage and hope that there is an alternative way of being. The whole conventional way of being has never worked for me and I find it very stressful. It would be very stressful to live in a world where there is finite possibility. I think joy kills sorrow and there is a lot more potential for things to be realized, and this comes about when people are relaxed and joyful and abundant. This change doesn’t happen when people are stressed. It doesn’t mean I don’t’ respect the work people do, it just isn’t for me.

One Facebook friend commented two things that I found inspiring. One comment was that there were one hundred thousand monks meditating for a better world, when people were protesting all over the world. I found that so much more inspiring than demonstrating. Because there were one hundred thousand monks whose intention was pure good, no conflict. There was now an alternative way of being, to be in a non conflictual situation praying for the human spirit, human happiness and a better life for all. There’s just no conflict there, and for some reason that speaks to me more than semi organized political rallies. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to a lot of them but somehow this speaks to me more. Another thing a friend said on Facebook is to occupy your heart. Exactly! Which is much more important, to cultivate that than to do anything else. Because if we were all connected that way there wouldn’t’ be any conflict. Because essentially when you’re connected through your heart to each other then it’s an absolute joy to watch abundance grow. It doesn’t have to be about a limited sense of abundance. Watching other people transcend something or celebrate, or even sharing that with other people, there isn’t a lot of happiness or joy better than that. One hundred bucks more in your bank account isn’t going to help you feel better than that. Also I think it breeds a lot of fear, creating everything in terms of monetary value. I do this mural and I’m getting paid nothing and I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing and I’m so grateful I get to do it all the time. It brings me a lot of joy. My bank account is doing fine too. I think things falls in to place when you’re doing the right thing. If you do things for the right reasons abundance just follows.

Thank you Wendy!

Photo by David Leitao

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Drishti Point Yoga Radio Talk Show: Alan Clements Feature

Drishti Point Yoga Radio Talk Show
Drishti Point is a yoga radio talk show that features interviews about yoga, dharma, truth, wisdom, and love.

Drishti Point airs every Monday from 5-6pm on CFRO 102.7 FM, and free podcasts are available on-line at: www.drishtipoint.ca.

This month’s guests include: Marie Manuchehri, Energy Intuitive and Reiki Master, Sherri Kajiwara of the Three Jewels Vancouver, Todd Caldecott, a Medicinal Herbalist, Ayurvedic Practitioner, and author of Food as Medicine, Pandit Premayaji of the MahaLakhmi Temple, and Alan Clements, former Buddhist monk, revolutionary satirist, author, artist, human rights activist, and retreat leader.

October Feature: Alan Clements

We need people who think way beyond here, way out of the box, way into tomorrow; the new now is the future.

In this incredible interview, Alan Clements, presents his new book, A Future to Believe In. He invites us to stay present and connected to what is happening now, to have compassion for the generations to come, and stop taking everything we have for granted.

Listen here: http://drishtipoint.ca/alan-clements-author-and-former-buddhist-monk/

Listen live or visit our website http://www.drishtipoint.ca/ for interviews that will inspire you to live fully awake in the present moment, to grow in wisdom and compassion, to open to love and devotion, and to be instruments to alleviate pain and suffering and Light the way for others to achieve ultimate freedom and happiness.

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Deanna Defrietas, a yoga student at Open Door Yoga and a Professional Counselor, discusses the releasing of energy and old patterns with a new awareness that she has been experiencing via a combination of yoga, BCS Therapy and IB Psychotherapy. Interview by Maya Lee

Deanna Defrietas is a yoga student at Open Door Yoga, and is also a professional counselor with knowledge of many therapies such as cognitive therapy and reality therapy, specializing in person centred therapy and Gestalt therapy. Deanna is now adding Integrative Body Psychotherapy to her tool belt, and has combined receiving this therapy, also Biodynamic Cranial Sacral therapy, with yoga classes recently. Deanna discusses the releasing of energy and old patterns with a new awareness that she has been experiencing via this combination.

First a little background in IBP and BCST: Integrative Body Psychotherapy is an experiential practice that enable clients to break through their old, somatically maintained dysfunctional behavior patterns by reawakening and establishing fully integrated states of well-being, constancy and sense of self in the body. This facilitates a transformation of consciousness at the core of their being.

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle and subtle whole body approach to the human experience. BCST works with our core, the core of our being. Physically BCST influences the central nervous system; brain and spinal column, as well as the fluid that bathes it. This fluid is called the cerebral spinal fluid.  Emotionally BCST can affect very deep and primary patterns, while providing you with resource and space to explore your emotional landscape. Spiritually- Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy can open doors to both hearts and soul, with the possibility of profoundly changing lives.

Maya: Could you talk about the big changes you have been aware of since recently combining Open Door Yoga classes with BCST and IBP?

Deanna: I went from feeling very disempowered in a difficult time in my life and feeling triggered at work to feeling large, very whole and large and being able to take control of my life, to empower myself to be the best possible person I could be at work, and everywhere else too, with my kids. A significant yoga class for me was laughing yoga. When I did laughing yoga something completely changed with that addition. Suddenly I was able to just let the child within be really playful and creative and move in and out of life with ease, like swimming through life, like dancing through life, playing with workmates, with my boss easily. Being able to laugh at little things like my children do. So Open Door Yoga was really imperative to keep the flow going, to keep myself open. Also the last yin yoga class I did I got to a place where I have never been able to breathe so deeply, and I felt super connected to myself and to the universe. In that class with the stretching, I was able to move into the stretches like never before, really deep deep soul stretching.

There was one side of my body that wasn’t connected with the other part and when the Biodynamic Cranial Sacral therapist started moving that I also started working with Open Door Yoga classes too, so I started moving the energy and unblocking deeply held places. I started doing the yin yoga and Tomas’ class. Those two classes really helped to fortify and move my body more. The stretching and the breathing kept opening me up more and more. Then I started doing some more training in IBP with Maecan Campell, and the three combined were magical and insurmountable in being able to get to the places that were held, because IBP also uses a lot of breathing and movement in similar ways to yin yoga.

Maya: Could you describe the process in a BCST session. What literally happens from the moment the sessions begins, how does the therapist work with your body? Could you relate a specific experience of yours to us?

Deanna: The therapist starts with my sacrum. She puts her hand on my sacrum and she says that she is just there inside of me, that she becomes aware of and witness to what’s going on inside me, of everything, the spinal fluid, my organs, my skin, she can feel it and she is in constant communication with me and I communicate with her, and I notice, just notice what is moving and what isn’t moving and what hurts and what doesn’t hurt. I notice that suddenly my arm hurts, there is a pulsing pain, not horrible pain, it is achey. I notice that one side of my body is very full of energy and active and the other side isn’t at all. There is nothing going on on the other side. And over time my energy starts to shift and move and I can feel my leg that wasn’t moving at all filled with energy suddenly, and it’s like when your foot has fallen asleep and the blood starts flowing again, it’s like that. It kind of pushes through. It tightens up then it releases. And it happens all the time as she is working. Then she moves once the area has moved as much as it’s going to move. She moves up higher. She can move underneath my shoulder blades, then she stays with that for a while, and the last time she got up to my cranium, and I felt for a long time nothing was happening then suddenly the left side started to get really strong and active, and then it moved into my right. I’ve had a paralysis on my right side so it moved into my right and started to pulse through my face and my head, and my face started twitching. And she’s not doing anything outwardly, she’s not massaging or anything, just holding me, but my whole face started to twitch and energy pulsed through my face. Ever since then my ear that had been damaged has been healed. I had a fluttering in my ear, and the fluttering in my ear has gone ever since then. With BCST I have also had serious emotional release as well as physical, because it does move held places, deep places. Then I’d get into Integrated Body therapy with Maecan Campbell, and instantly almost where I left off with BCST I would get to, that held place that she found.

Maya: Could you describe the process of IBP. How is your body worked with in conjunction with psychotherapy?

Deanna: With IBP you do a lot of series of breathing exercises and movement which help you to get really quickly to trauma, to whatever needs to be worked on, unfinished business. The last session I started with the breathing exercises and started getting a twitch in my hand and a heaviness in my chest and instantly found thoughts of my mother, and I hadn’t worked with my mother before at all in therapy, so it was a surprise. But with IBP it comes so strongly, the feelings are so strong and you work very closely with the therapist and the therapist is there to really help you look inside you and go gently and breathe and help you to really be with yourself and notice what’s going on, and notice if there is any pain or discomfort to release. You are just being with it. So when I was with the feeling in my chest and noticing this, when I had to speak instantly, I was fourteen again and with my therapist I worked through unfinished business with my mother.

Maya: With IBP, what kind of physical movements and breathing are you guided into?

Deanna: You start with making a physical boundary. I have a boundary and Maecan has a boundary around her. It’s a lot about personal boundary and space and moving energy. So then you lay down on the ground with your knees up so your feet are grounded. Then you start with raising your arms up above your head and following them with your eyes, and breathing in and then quick release breathing out. You do that a bunch of times until you stop, and the therapist asks you to be aware of what is happening and to communicate what is happening, if anything is coming up for you. And usually right away you’ve got a lot more oxygen flowing through the body. There are lots of other exercises too. Then you go arms into the chest and out from the chest, and pushing down on your chest, every time breathing and pushing the air out. There’s another exercise after that, a throat release. You stick your tongue out as you are breathing in, and you make a sound as you breath out, whatever comes out of your mouth. And every time you are checking in with what is going on and often for some reason you’ll find yourself crying, just feeling your body, feeling the emotions in your body that you just don’t feel every day. It is something to do with the exercises and the oxygen and the connection with the therapist. It somehow brings up the emotions and whatever is stuck, whatever is held in your body comes out. Another exercise is lifting the hips up and down, breathing in as hips go up and out as they come down. By the end of it so many different things have happened to me, I remember one time I had done this immense amount of clearing mostly to do with the throat release exercise, and I looked so unbelievably glowing and alive and youthful. But at the beginning I was tired and haggard and crinkley, just a mess, and by the end of it I was so vibrant. It was incredibly amazing the difference.

Maya: Can you do these exercises on your own, or do you find they are only as dynamically useful in a therapy session?

Deanna: I’ve tried to do the exercises on my own and I’ve got a lot of energy and personal power from doing it on my own, but there is something about having a therapist there that lends a lot of energy. Somehow her witnessing my process lends energy and power to releasing and being able to really get into it, and make more connections that bring more awareness. There is something about another person being witness to my process that brings out everything that I need to work on. Also some similar reasons to be at Open Door yoga, because you are convening with others and your energy is intensified by the attention of a therapist (the teacher), that knows what they’re doing and has done their own personal work and can help to guide you through your personal work. It’s a very different experience to doing yoga by yourself. Probably the same with meditation. I’ve never done it with a group but I imagine it is a lot more intense than doing it on your own, I think it goes along with what I’m saying. If you were meditating with a yogi you’d probably be guided to a higher level of meditation. I think of Maecan as a shaman to me. That she exemplifies a higher realm of energy and helps draw that out in me instantly.

Currently it feels like there is this combination of holistic therapy that is really moving me forward into the next stage of my life.

Thank you Deanna!

Contact info for all therapies discussed:

BCST Agnes Hombach, CST and Shiatsu
ahombach@hotmail.com, 604 312 9073

Maecan Campbell
maecan@telus.net
604 730 1174

Deanna Defrietas
info@ayiraheart.ca
778 887 9667

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Open Door Yoga, Student Profile

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Meet Sophie Ke, Open Door Yoga Teachter training graduate! Interview by Maya Lee

Maya: Could you talk a little about the main influencing aspects in your life that led to you choosing to take Open Door Yoga’s teacher training course?

Sophie: I have been doing yoga since high school, and after graduating from university, I spent 8 months in China teaching English at a kindergarten. I continued to practice Yoga there, and met a lady there that talked about her experience being a yoga teacher. I was very intrigued, as I love practicing yoga, and also love to promote something I loved through teaching and guidance. I didn’t have enough time in China, so when I came back to Vancouver, my work place moved to Main street, and I started practicing at Open Door. I instantly felt a connection here with the teachers and students. It’s not like any other yoga studio I have been to, with a strong sense of community and belonging. Thus I choose Open Door as my teacher training because I felt comfortable with the teachers and what they strive to promote here.

Maya: During the course did you come across some re-occurring inner obstacles that you found ways to address during the course? And what inner techniques did you find yourself developing to propel yourself forward through the course?

Sophie: I had to really gain self confidence and believe in myself. Believe in what I can do and what I already have inside of me. I had to keep on telling myself that I can do it, and to trust myself.

Maya: Did you have some specific questions about yourself as a teacher and were they answered for you by the end of the course?

Sophie: Even though I taught at summer camps and kindergartens, I wasn’t sure if I would be a good yoga teacher as I am still practicing and developing myself. I had always assumed that only when you can do all the crazy poses can you become a good yoga teacher. Throughout the course, I learned that it’s your heart that really matters, and how passionate you are about what you do. A yoga teacher is really a guide, not there to show off.

Maya: Did the course deepen your own practice, and could you outline some specific areas this became evident.

Sophie: The course made me more aware of my postures and alignments. It also deepened my understanding of my body during yoga, as well as the benefits and contraindications associated with various poses. I was more aware of my breathing, and the connection of my mind and body.

Maya: Could you discuss the aspects of the course you took to like a fish to water, where the bliss flowed for you, and where in contrast your challenges were.

Sophie: I am good at memorizing and organizing data, so I remembered all the steps of teaching each pose very quickly. I was also able to organize all the information in an easy accessible manner. The challenging part was to teach from the heart, instead of memorizing and reciting steps. At first I sounded like a recorded instructional video, and it took a lot of practice to start teaching from where I felt.

Maya: Has yoga had a direct effect on changing your life in significant ways, and could you discuss this a little please?

Sophie: Yoga made me more calm and centered. I realized what I needed in life, instead of just keep on wanting more. I also realized what was important to me, and found that happiness is a conscience choice I can make, instead of relying on others to make me happy.

Maya: What do you feel the purpose of yoga is in this world, that makes you want to pass on the wisdom more widely?

Sophie: Yoga helps us realize who we really are, and find our own inner peace. It’s not only a good form of exercising, it also helps with other exercises such us running and tennis. It helps us realize a lot of inner truths about ourselves and the world around us. It is such a balanced and whole form of exercising.

Maya: If you could give one essential lesson to a student what would it be?

Sophie: Be yourself and true to yourself. Let everything come from your heart.

Thank you Sophie!

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Film reviews of movies at VIFF likely to appeal to the yoga community, from Drishti Point – Vancouver’s Radio Talk Show 102.7 FM, Mondays 5-6PM

Flirting with Heights is a poetic testament to the beauty of the natural world. Join a dedicated French naturalist Jean-Michel Bertrand, who spends four years in the French Alps to capture footage of the flora and fauna of this stunning region of the world. Trying to make himself invisible so that he can get as close as possible to his wild subjects, Bertrand captures the grandeur and majesty of nature. This is a beautiful film and highly recommended for those who consider nature sacred and precious.

For information and to see a Trailer, visit: http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=0397

For tickets, visit www.viff.org

Burning Ice is a stunning film of the Arctic and of an innovate project, Cape Farewell, that brings together artists and scientists in dialogue about climate change. The film documents their 10-day voyage in Greenland, and their creative process in making art to raise awareness about climate change. The majestic and breath-taking Arctic landscape provides the inspiration as these artists create music, poetry, comedy, and photography.

This film is a visual gem with an innovative and inspiring twist on an important theme.

For more information about the film, and to see a Trailer, visit: http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=0440

For tickets, visit www.viff.org .

Crazy Wisdom is a must see for all spiritual practitioners, meditators, and students of Buddhism and Yoga.

Documenting the life of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Buddhist monk, who de-robbed, married, and bought Buddhist teachings to thousands of Americans in the 1960s and 70s. Featuring Pema Chodron, Ram Dass, Allen Ginsberg, and Robert Thurman, and live footage of Rinpoche’s dharma talks, Johanna Demetrakas’ film posits important questions about Rinpoche’s unconventional teaching.

This film beautifully captures Rinpoche’s wisdom, the truth of his life and teachings, and his profound legacy within Western Buddhism.

Highly Recommended.

For more information, and to see a Trailer of the film, http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=0445

For tickets, visit www.viff.org .

Journey on the Wild Coast
If you have ever wanted to go on an epic journey, this is a film for you! Join newly-weds Hig and Erin as they trek 4,000 miles by boot, raft, and ski from Seattle to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Journey on the Wild Coast is a beautiful film that captures the wet and wild West Coast, and the determination and perserverance of a couple dedicated to raising awareness of the natural world.

For more information on this film or to see a Trailer, visit http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=0616

For tickets, visit: www.viff.org

Mama Africa
This is a beautiful and inspiring film about the charismatic and iconic South African singer- Miriam Makeba. Documenting her musical career as well her activism-in-exile in the South African anti-apartheid movement, Miriam Makeba melodious gift captured the hearts of millions.

Highly recommended!

For more information about the film, visit http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=0008

For tickets, visit www.viff.org

Planet Yoga is an excellent documentary on yoga- the practice, the philosophy, and its history. Spanning the globe from Nunavut to Paris, this film features dedicated teachers from around the world, as well as two local yogis- Sri Venu, head of the Sivananda organization in Vancouver, and Kavindra Rishi, founder of the Vedic Academy of Sciences and Arts.

For more information about the film, visit: http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=3036#

One Lucky Elephant
This is a sweet 10, 000 pound love story about Flora the elephant and her circus trainer David Balding . After 16 years of being together, Balding decides it is time for Flora to return to being with elephants. The film shows his genuine fondness and affection for Flora, while raising subtle but profound questions about the circus industry and the anthropomorphizing of wild animals. This film is a beautiful illustration of ahimsa in action and the importance of re-examining our relationship to animals and to the natural world.

For more information about the film, and to see a Trailer, visit: http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote?EventNumber=0764&

For tickets, visit www.viff.org

Brenda Bilili
This incredible music documentary tells the story of a group of homeless, paraplegic musicians living and playing in the streets of Kinshasa, Congo. Discovered by directors Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye, who are determined to record an album of their music, Benda Bilili is an inspiring tale that takes raw musical geniuses from the slums of Kinshasa to the concerts halls and Festivals of Europe.

Inspiring, life- affirming, and joyous!

For more information and to watch a Trailer, visit: http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=0765

For tickets, visit: www.viff.org

Seeking the Current is an intelligent documentary that makes a convincing case against Hydro Quebec’s Romaine River initiative. Weaving together footage of a beautiful landscape, interviews with experts from various energy sectors, and the story of Hydro Quebec’s devolution from social democratic ideals to greed and environmental destruction, this film is inspiring and hopeful. Presenting a plethora of alternatives to hydroelectricity, Seeking the Current is a persuasive and intelligent documentary.

For more information or to see a Trailer, visit: http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=1773

For tickets, visit: www.viff.org

First Position
Bess Kargman’s documentary about the Youth American Grand Prix (a prestigious international ballet competition) provides a window into the world of one of the most beautiful and demanding physical pursuits. Each of her characters have compelling stories that show the remarkable dedication and discipline required of those who pursue a career in dance.

Highly recommended!

For more information and to see a Trailer, visit: http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=3074

For tickets, visit: www.viff.org

Taste The Waste
Valentin Thurn’s shocking documentary on food waste is a must see for food activists. Interviewing farmers, dumpster divers, scientists, and enlightened supermarket managers, Thurn’s film posits important questions about the desire for aesthetic perfection and the demand for the freshest food in the context of millions who live in a constant state of food scarcity.

For a Trailer of the film, visit: http://tastethewaste.com/info/film

For more information about the film and tickets, visit: http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote?EventNumber=2893&#

Waking the Green Tiger is an excellent documentary about the environmental movement in China. Featuring journalists, activists, filmmakers, and government officials, this movie provides a window into the ecological disasters of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and the environmental dangers of continuing along the same course of development.

These eco-activists intelligently use a new environmental law to raise awareness and encourage grassroots participation helping people to feel empowered to make change in their lives and preserve the cultural and biological diversity in the Yunnan province region of China.

For a Trailer and more information about the film, http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=2648

Weibo’s War
Director David’s York documentary provides insight into the often vilified and misunderstood eco-activist Ludwig Wiebo. This intimate film portrays Wiebo as a complex character- charismatic, gentle, incredibly intelligent, and fundamentally Christian.

York and his film crew capture the complicated nature of Wiebo’s War that pits him and his family and community against the Alberta Oil and Gas industry, with tragic results.

For more information or to view a Trailer, visit: http://filmguide.viff.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote.php?EventNumber=1393

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Mariska Mclean – Open Door Yoga Teacher Training Graduate, discusses being in a powerful life flow Since graduating. Interview by Maya Lee

Maya: Since completing the Open Door Yoga teaching training course you have had a lot of serendipitous good fortune. Energy seems to be really moving you forward in your life. Your children’s store was sold without putting it on the market, you obtained regular work teaching right away, your own classes, no subbing. You are also teaching a 6 week meditation workshop , and are due to teach your first ‘mommy workshop’. It would seem that you are in a great flow of life for you, following your purpose, and are traveling in a good strong positive life flow. I would like to ask you these questions in response to this very marvelous news:

Did you follow your bliss to get to this point? How much discipline did you feel you needed to apply versus how much of this journey did you feel you were in a natural flowing tide carrying you along by a natural drive?

Mariska: I feel that being open to possibilities is huge. Six months before I started the teacher training course I never even dreamed of becoming a teacher. I thought that that was only for others. and then one day it just came. just like that, the feeling of doing the Teacher training course. Knowing I will become a teacher. And then that all fell perfectly in place with my husband being supportive financially and agreeing to watch the kids every Sunday for 6 months. So I think a lot of it is natural intuition. I actually like to call it karma. All the causes are in place for it to work out a certain way.
But change does require effort. No big life changes are ever made without effort I’d say.
I don’t think I needed to apply a lot of discipline though. When things feel good and exciting the effort just comes naturally. It didn’t require much thought.

Maya: Would you agree that putting a lot of effort into any area of one’s life is going to create positive consequences, although it may not be the area we necessarily expect to see results? Does any experience you have had that might reflect his come to mind?

Mariska: Yes. I would agree on this. I think we also should let go of always wanting results and we should instead trust. Put effort in to create goodness, then the result can show itself in any given way. By being open, kind to others, generous, patient, compassionate only goodness can come your way..
And when things don’t work out the way you wanted, you can ask yourself what the teaching is? But by not expecting results you won’t be let down when it doesn’t work out the way you hoped:)

Maya: During the teacher training course were there some specific mind messages within yourself that you became aware of that you felt were not as useful as they could be, which you took action to change via your work on the course? Could you possibly tell us a little about this?

Mariska: hmm….I already knew it would be scary for me to teach as I have been quite shy my whole life. But knowing that I really do have things to say and a longing to share, this was the best opportunity to work through this and face those fears. At the TT they start you off teaching a pose in the 2nd class already, so no time to hide in my shell! Which is exactly what I needed!

Maya: Could you map out your journey in your general attitude to the work from day 1 to the middle and end of the course, and describe a little of any teachings that directly effected change for you?

Mariska: Feeling scared for sure on day 1. But feeling so safe with the teachers and the great group of ladies, so letting go in the form of dance, laughter, and finding my voice became a beautiful thing.

Maya: What were your intentions for yourself when you began the course and did they change at all?

Mariksa: . My intentions weren’t clear when I started. I just felt the time was perfect to learn how to teach, so they became clearer as time passed.
My intention is to share what I have learned and help others ease their lives, offering the wisdom on how to make changes in your daily lives, how to remove all the hardship that you see and feel.

Maya: By the end of the course what was the teaching for yourself that you felt most connected to in regard to your own calling as a teacher, your specific gift to pass on, and could you please describe your hearts intention with the new classes you are teaching, yoga, mom’s classes, your meditation classes?

Mariska: The teacher training has given me the tools to be a teacher by learning the yoga language, and the exploring of many topics discussed has also shown me that there is so much more to learn. This is just a tip of the iceberg. I know that my interest lies in the Galukpa tradition, the lineage of the Dalai Lama. So to use the skills taught to me at the TT combined with all the teachings received by my Heart Teacher, I am very excited to share this knowledge.

Thank you Mariska!

For info on ODY TT: http://opendoor-yogateachertraining.ca/

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Drishti Point Yoga Radio Talk Show

Drishti Point is a yoga radio talk show that features interviews about yoga, dharma, truth, wisdom, and love.

Drishti Point airs every Monday from 5-6pm on CFRO 102.7 FM, and free podcasts are available on-line at: www.drishtipoint.ca. This month’s guests include: His Holiness Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, Johanna Demetrakus, director of the recent film on the life of Tibetan Master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche – Crazy Wisdom, Kate Clere, Director of the upcoming film YOGAWOMAN, Executive Director Delanie Dyck and Nicole Marcia of Yoga Outreach, and Pre and Perinatal therapist Judyth Weaver.

September Feature: Kate Clere McIntyre

Yoga is always evolving and shifting and women need to find power through their beauty and rhythm.

Though yoga was first brought to the West by a lineage of male teachers, today many of the most respected teachers are women. Featuring Sean Corne, Patricia Walden, Sharon Gannon and dozens of women yogis, Kate Clere McIntyre’s exciting and inspiring film YOGAWOMAN is a welcome addition to the growing list of documentaries that explore yoga in its classical and contemporary form.

For an interview with Kate Clere McIntyre, listen here: http://drishtipoint.ca/kate-clere-directorfilmmaker-yogawoman/

Listen live or visit our website http://www.drishtipoint.ca/ for interviews that will inspire you to live fully awake in the present moment, to grow in wisdom and compassion, to open to love and devotion, and to be instruments to alleviate pain and suffering and Light the way for others to achieve ultimate freedom and happiness.

Farah Moolji Nazarali
Founder, Drishti Point
www.drishtipoint.ca
Free Podcasts Available On-line!

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